As part of a package of measures to help manage the concentration of HMOs in the district, on the 31st May 2012 the council issued a notice of intention to implement an Article 4 direction.  This is a planning tool which triggers the need for planning permission for change of use from a family house to a small HMO across the whole City of Bath. 

On the 12th June 2013, the Council Cabinet agreed and implemented planning policy which means that changing the use of a property from a single family home to an HMO from the 1st July 2013 requires planning permission. 

For more information please go to 

We are commonly asked:

Q. Will a student house left empty between tenancies over the summer require planning permission when reoccupied at the start of a new term?

A. HMOs which are empty over the summer between tenancies will not be required to apply for planning permission to operate as HMOs when the students return in September/October.  Planning permission will only be required for ‘change of use’.  However, new HMOs that are occupied for the first time as HMOs after the 1st July 2013 will need to apply for planning permission.

Q. If my HMO is located in a road where there are over 10% HMOs, will I be refused a licence?

A. No. Licensing and Planning legislation is not connected. See ‘Will licensing prevent me from renting my house as a HMO?





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